• Live Oak Management

The Hospital for Sick Children: SickKids vs The Greatest Challenge in Child Health

By: Maria Torres Monteverde, Account Executive


The Hospital for Sick Children is a major pediatrician research and teaching hospital in Ontario, Canada. When healthcare campaigns start looking very similar, companies and organizations need to start getting creative so that they stand out from the crowd. The goal of this campaign is to shine a spotlight on what goes on behind the doors of the hospital, the life-or-death battles taking place every minute of every day that not everyone gets to see or appreciate. For me, SickKids vs The Greatest Challenge in Child Health, which launched in 2016, is one of the boldest campaigns that I have ever seen in the healthcare industry.


The SickKid vs The Greatest Challenge campaign is efficient because it shares the realities and challenges that hundreds of patients and hospital staff face everyday. In addition to this two-minute video, there are some other shorter films as part of this campaign where detailed stories are explained.Lori Davison, Vice President, Brand Strategy & Communications, states how “The VS campaign has been recognized around the world as a bold shift in tone for a children’s hospital. With SickKids VS, we celebrate the resilient spirit of our patients, families and staff, and showcase the good 'fight' that goes on at the hospital each day.”

Throughout the video, you can observe very dramatic and emotional scenes where kids and doctors fight for their lives in the hospital. One thing that stands out to me is the children’s choir singing Johnny Cash’s “Hurt,” ending each spot on the lyric “I will find a way.” This represents the fierce and fight side of the patients, families, staff and doctors in the hospital every day.

This campaign wouldn’t have been possible if it wasn’t for the help of hospital staff (in front and behind the scenes), volunteers, and 50 families who agreed to participate. This campaign is filled with real doctors, real patients and real families which adds a very special component to the final result. As a result, you can find this campaign in TV, print, billboards, buses, digital and social media. Clearly, the awareness of this campaign has been spread in different ways.

This campaign is a heartwarming and emotional sequence of stories with incredible people committed to help and support the sick kids. You might never see it. But this is why they fight. This campaign will provide hospitals and society with the idea that sickness is not weak and it is no less deserving of support.

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